August 10, 2020

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Western Australia Trials Mobile App for Young People in Out-of-Home Care

MyView Mobile App
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The Government of Western Australia will trial a new mobile app, which is designed to make it easier for young people in out-of-home care to get support, in response to the national Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

About the initiative

According to a recent press release, Child Protection Minister Simone McGurk announced details of the new ‘MyView’ mobile app.

With more than 5,300 children and young people in out-of-home care in WA, the State Government is trialling a ‘MyView’ phone app that aims to improve their access to support and services.

The app was commissioned by the Advocate for Children in Care and developed in consultation with young adults who have been in care.

It provides access to important information, emergency help and direct contact with case workers, advocacy and complaints services.

The Minister said the six-month trial, which will be made available to 300 young people in care across the State, was an important step in ensuring that the safety of children was always paramount.

Background

Her announcement of the trial came with her release of the State Government’s second annual progress report on the Royal Commission’s recommendations.

Of the 310 recommendations applicable to the Western Australian Government, 125 have now been completed, with a further 178 progressing.

The remaining seven recommendations require adaption of linked legislation or progress on other recommendations.

The State Government has continued its strong support of the work of the Royal Commission in 2019 by strengthening criminal law responses to child sexual abuse and improving access to support for children in out of home care.

In addition, it also introduced changes to the Children and Community Services Act 2004 to require ministers of religion to report child sexual abuse.

This will include mandatory reporting extended to information gained during confession.

The Minister shared that the State Government remains strongly committed to addressing the recommendations handed down in the 2017 Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

They are working hard to heal past hurts, protect children now and prevent further harm. The State-wide implementation of the ‘MyView’ pilot is a practical example of this commitment.

The Royal Commission noted that a child-focused complaints process is an important strategy for helping children and others in institutions to raise and discuss concerns and make complaints.

The app aims to provide a simple tool that empowers young people in out-of-home care with access to direct information and a resource that ensures that their voices are heard.

Australia keeps children safe

Australia has been very keen in protecting the country’s children from abuse. OpenGov Asia has reported on some of its earlier initiatives to address the issue.

One of which is Australia joins global project that uses AI against online child abuse. Australia’s eSafety Commissioner signed on to a pilot that is designed to reduce the availability of child sexual abuse material online.

Project Arachnid autonomously detects child sexual abuse material at a rate much faster than human analysts are capable of.

The commitment of eSafety to Project Arachnid means that its Cyber Report team will work collaboratively with investigators and analysts across the globe.

The eSafety Commissioner explained that through this work, the Cyber Report team will make a significant impact in restricting the availability of child sexual abuse material to those who are seeking and distributing it.

Another initiative was launched by the eSafety Commissioner and its partners. It is a Child Protection Campaign Against Online Abuse.

The joint campaign will help parents and carers understand the warning signs of unwanted contact and report suspicious activity.

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